The shaman knows the drama of the human soul, its instability, its precariousness ... the forces that threaten it and the regions to which it can be carried away. If shamanic cure involves ecstasy, it is because illness is regarded as *a corruption or alienation of the soul.* ~Mircea Eliade
Norse shamanism. The name “völva” means simply “woman with a staff”. The staff, in Norse also called “gandur” (refer to the English word “wand”), was a symbol of power and, like in this case, control of the supernatural. The bishop’s crozier, the king’s sceptre and the magician’s magic wand are relics from this special kind of symbolism. The Norse word “gandur” means both wand and magic in modern Faroese and Icelandic.